Thoughts of Malice…the Virtual Version

I just want to be grateful for a hot minute.

I’ve been writing a long time, and it’s an isolating affair, and often writers feel like they are writing into voids of rejection and futility.

Level Best Books, my current publisher, is not about to let that happen to their authors! Case in point: More than Malice, my publisher’s answer to the pandemic-exhausted populace. Instead of postponing the typical Malice Domestic Writers conference, which they’ve been involved with for twenty years; they pulled out all the stops and produced a virtual conference that defied the odds, and had a lot of fun doing it. (Well, in addition to the blood, sweat, and tears of the learning curve and all the technological nuances and stumbling blocks). Now up to 90-something authors, give or take, Level Best Books is growing! And they still try to make sure every author is given attention in some shape or form, on this wonderful but terrifying journey called publishing.

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Boom! It’s 2021 and Crazy Town

HI there and welcome to Crazy Town. At least that’s where I am right now. So busy I don’t have much time to bemoan our political landscape or wring my hands about the COVID virus, and thank God because if that was all I thought about I’d be in bed most days.

I’m in the midst of releasing a book with an energetic and forward-thinking publisher and it’s a LOT! Since my background is advertising sales, copywriting, and marketing, I have to do it to the utmost, which takes a lot of time and patience. Neither of which I have, but we do what must be done, don’t we? Yes. Most of the time, anyway.

So while whittling away at a press release, preparing for yet another ZOOM call with my author launch team, biting my fingernails calling potential virtual event venues for our “Truth and Lies in Mysteries” tour, I had a moment of panic when I realized I hadn’t updated my website and a lot of folks (a lot) were going to check it out now and I’d better have something current. It’s even on my publisher’s information sheet, ‘how many times do you update your website a month?’ and I got a little red-faced at that question. So…welcome to my world for the next few weeks, and in the middle of that, my publisher offered me another contract! For Book Two and Book Three of the Olivia Callahan Suspense Series. Book One of which (The Deadening) releases next month, and is available for pre-order now.

My mind is spinning with how much there is to do after a mainly puttering-along writing life, and it is now full systems go and I have two more books to write starting, well, now. It is a happy time and a busy time and I am over-the-moon grateful for a blessing in the midst of a fiercely alienating landscape, a horrid disease, and the pervasive loneliness that hatched in 2020. Thanks to my writing addiction, I now have an instant group of encouragers and ZOOM meetings at every turn.

Into the vast Unknown…

Tip-toeing into 2021, I’m cautiously optimistic that we may see some light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s certainly nice to have a bunch of activity going on. It is WAY too easy to slide down the tunnel of regret and take the highway of discontent right now. (Dumb metaphors, I know, I know). So for now, I’m happily engaging in phone calls to potential virtual events or future signing events when the great unmasking occurs (being positive, here), I’m delighting in the lively wit of other authors and the sharing of promotional ideas. I’m excited about the fact that my editor believes in and supports my books and that I’m building a fan base (I love you guys).

Not watching news. Just no. For a while.

I’m stepping away from 24/7 news, which has had me glued to my phone. If 2020 has taught us one thing, it’s that we cannot believe the media. We must do research and find out for ourselves, and even that may not be exactly right, so…we just need to live our lives. Pursue that wonderful thing that God made us to do. Believe that better, more hopeful days are ahead. (Preachin’ to myself here, too.) Stay busy. Find something we love and do it. Persevere. Stay ahead of depression. Go visit someone with a three-year old, it will totally change your outlook for the better. Promise.

In the meantime, I think I’ll keep writing.

Happy New Year, everyone!

A Writing Journey

Once upon a time I met a guy who told me he was a novelist.

We became good friends, and I thought how cool it would be to write for a living. So eventually, I did.

Little did I know 1) how long it would take to get published, 2) how ego-crushing submitting manuscripts can be, 3) how many cool, awesome writers, editors, and agents I’d meet along the way, 4) how much excruciating, convoluted editing is involved to make a book ready for public dissemination, and 5) how ever-changing and random the publishing business is.

And it takes a really weird person (like me) to persevere. Fortunately, this business is filled with eccentric, fascinating, weird people so I fit right in.

A little update on what is happening with my next book to be released: “The Deadening,” psychological suspense, the story of the deadening and resurrection of a woman’s soul and all of the horrific decisions in between, mainly spurred by an assault, a coma, and a psychotic ex-husband. A cute detective is sandwiched in between the horrific stuff, so no worries.

The book has been edited by a professional editor, my agent, my (former) publishing house and about a thousand times by me. It’s as good and clean as it can get. It was slated to come out Summer, 2020. However, as the erratic and winding path of publishing goes sometimes, my publisher announced they have made the difficult decision to close the fiction publishing arm of their business.

I had to laugh. The writing journey is a long and winding path, and seems to get longer and windier the longer I’m involved.

My agent did not laugh. She was horrified. That is why I love her. She immediately jumped on the bandwagon, contacted my publisher to get specifics, then consulted every peer she could think of for new ideas to resurrect “The Deadening.”

So next week we start a new round of submissions, and I’m excited because I thought “The Deadening,” was, well…dead.

While that’s being worked out, I’m working on my next book, “The Vanishings.” My agent likes it. That’s a good sign.

Meanwhile, my personal character is being expanded by leaps and bounds. I’m not even throwing tantrums anymore when stuff like this happens, I just shrug and roll my eyes. I have a newfound respect for writers in general because it’s crazy hard to get a foothold in this business and keep going. I’ve developed a tough hide and an even tougher tolerance for problems, because hey…once you’ve been rejected a thousand times and someone finally picks up your work, the adrenalin surge washes over you like high tide and stays there. A writer could pound out a hundred more books on that one success alone.

Well, except for a few pity parties, but that’s a given. Writers bond over pity party stories and lots of alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol.

So, that’s the scoop! The journey continues!

 

Click here to preview my first book, “The Hunting.”